Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health

ILO participated in the Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health, 10-13 November 2013, in Recife, Brazil. The Global Forum was hosted by the Government of Brazil and PAHO and co-organized by the WHO and the Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA).

Under the theme Human Resources for Health – foundation for universal health coverage and the post-2015 development agenda, the Forum elicited new commitments on human resources for health to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage and the attainment of the health-related MDGs.

The Forum brought together approximately 1800 Health workforce experts, 89 country delegations and some 40 ministers, making it the largest ever global gathering on human resources for health to date. HRH partners and WHO Member States announced 83 cutting-edge commitments demonstrating their dedication to advance the health workforce agenda.

What were ILO contributions to the Forum?
  • A video message by the ILO Director General, Mr Guy Ryder, was played at the opening ceremony. Mr Ryder underlined the critical importance of decent work for health workers as well as the implementation of the Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No 202) for achieving universal health coverage.
  • A pre-conference side-event, organized jointly by WHO and ILO, discussed safety and health at work in the health services and introduced to the new workplace tool HealthWISE – Work Improvement in Health Services.
  • ILO and WHO jointly organized the parallel session on Security, safety, wellbeing and motivation of health workers in difficult contexts, under the subtheme Empowerment and incentives: harnessing health workers’ voice, rights and responsibilities in moving towards UHC. Speakers included a frontline health worker reporting on challenges working in conflict areas and health workers’ coping strategies as well as support mechanisms; an expert of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition giving a global overview on threats to health workers providing care in conflict situations and current policy responses; a district health manager sharing good practice initiatives for improving working conditions and motivation of health workers in hard-to-reach-areas; WHO and ILO alerting to the health and safety risks of daily work of healthworkers and highlighting the importance of occupational safety and health programmes addressing the specific needs in the heatlh sector workplace. Moderated by Ms Elizabeth Adams of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Association, a lifely discussion with the some 120 participants confirmed the need to address more seriously the safety and health gaps for health workers.
  • ILO colleagues contributed articles to the WHO Bulletin Special Theme Edition on HRH: